Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mooninite Past Haunts Boston - One Year Later


Just one year removed from the most famous "non-incident" event in the city of Boston's history....
I stop for a moment, and ask, What happened? And, How have we all grown? If you are at all puzzled - I am asking you about "Mooninite-Gate" or attack of the "Zebbler-ism", "The Hanging of The Lite-Brites..."

Whatever you want to call it - the events of 1/31/07 are now a year old. I remember, and evidently so does much of the world. Boston, you still have a funny little black eye for this one.


1/31/07 - One Year Later, I know I feel safer...

The sad thing is that there are still those who want to blame the dreadlocked non-criminal accomplice Zebbler (the only good thing to come out of this whole ridiculous event due to his fun, laissez-faire attitude and crazy hair) for the corporate advertising campaign which struck fear in the out-of-touch hearts of the aged and unfamiliar. Am I guilty of age-ism, no. Pessimism and Realism? Probably.

I still have to ask this question - why would a multi-million dollar emergency response team not have enough common sense to ask why a terrorist would elect to equip a bomb with a series of lights in rainbow colors (basically saying - "look at me! look at me!") depicting a funny little alien creature?? There is no reasonable answer. I guess it's better to laugh then to cry!

Here's the link to the on-the-fly blog entry I wrote a year-ago today, when things were still unfolding (the authorities at this point still thought these things might be explosives and were still treating the poor Zebbler like a member of Al Queda).

Hot Springs :: the Headrush Video and mp3


New favorite Hot Springs, a loud and promising Montreal band fronted by indie rocker, part-time hip hop artist and model, Giselle have released a video and I wanted to share it with you.

New Development from Hot Springs


Hot Springs are playing Canadian dates for the next month or so but are slated to play SxSW in Austin this March. They have wisely left the post-festival dates open for opportunities throughout the states and beyond!

Here's the Hot Springs album plug I ran for the band back in November.

Official Web / Myspace

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Roy Orbison is an Honorary Beetle!

If scientists are correct about bugs outlasting man, there may be a new form of immortality set aside for the late Roy Orbison - a fame and vitality beyond his music... I learned today that a newly discovered beetle has been named for the crooner and former Wilbury. Yes, a bug... really!

A new species of beetle that appears as if wearing a tuxedo has been named in honor of the late rock 'n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara. Entomologist Quentin Wheeler of Arizona State University announced the discovery and naming of the beetle, now dubbed Orectochilus Orbisonorum, during a Roy Orbison Tribute Concert that was held on January 25th.

A new honor for Orbison

Gnarls Barkley's New Album :: The Odd Couple


Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo are back. With the announcement that the Gnarls Barkley duo are due to release a new album in April, things look a little more fun for '08. Following with Gnarls Barkley's knack for doing things with an ounce of humor and flair - they will name their second album "The Odd Couple." The title works on more than one level, but as with all things Gnarls - there's some funny in it - their first album was called, "St. Elsewhere." (What next, "All in the Family" - ?) Time and again - The duo, who often appear on stage in unusual costumes, have demonstrated their brand of tongue-in-cheek humor. Check out their promotional photos (copying iconic figures from popular films) in the band's myspace page profile. That's fresh. Here's what Rolling Stone had to say.

Gnarls Barkley - The New Album drops in April:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who the Hell is Colin Munroe? The Crazy Hot "I Want Those Flashing Lights" Track (featuring Kanye West!)


I don't exactly think that Colin Munroe could be considered Kanye West's prodigy as he is well on his own way to a successful career. But there is no doubting this: Colin Munroe's brand new track "I Want Those Flashing Lights" - which was remixed and is being trumpeted by Kanye West, is one hell of a song. Best prediction: This song gets really big and soon!


Colin Munroe’s debut album, "Don’t Think Less of Me," is coming soon - a joint release in late March or early April on Marked Music / Fontana North labels.

Colin wrote and produced the entire LP, in addition to playing all of the instruments on the album including drums, keys, guitar, bass, glockenspiel and too many percussion instruments to name.

"Don’t Think Less of Me" was mixed by Mark Needham, who mixed half of The
Killers’ 4 X Platinum debut disc Hot Fuss, including the Grammy-nominated single Mr. Brightside as well as music by My Chemical Romance, Bloc Party, We Are Scientists and Fleetwood Mac.

Web / Myspace

Free Show Tonight: Bang Camaro , SnowLeopards and Landsdowne


Local rockers Bang Camaro, the SnowLeopards and Landsdowne are playing a free show tonight at the Middle East - all you have to do to attend is to RSVP (pre-register) through - this is a great ticket!

Bang Camaro at the Middle East

Bang Camaro - Push Push (Lady Lightning)


I suggest RSVPing by 5pm. Arrive Early to secure your spot.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The 2007 Music Blog Zeitgeist

Hype the Hype Baby!

The Hype Machine has gone and produced one hell of a comprehensive Top 50 List for 2007. They took a whole mess of bloggers' Top Albums Lists from 2007 (Here's My List, again and The RSL Music Awards) and combined them all into a Mega List. (Top 50 Bands, Top 50 Songs and Top 50 Albums of the year!)

They're calling the thing the 2007 Zeitgeist Collection. Sounds pretty good to me. Zeitgeist, by the way, means Time Ghost - it's the name given for the theory that each age has it's spirit. (You would know that if you ever read up on your Nietzsche.) No matter - for those who have already read a whole lot of Year End lists, there's not many surprises here - but it's definitely worth a look.

Ryan Adams & his Killers Rocked Ann Arbor (2003)


I published this show waaaaaaaaay on back in October of 2006 when this blog was equally as good, just far less read than it is these days. Every so often, I look back and republish something cool - like this live Ryan Adams gig from 2003 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This is a spiced up live show - An interesting reference to the band The Killers. The 2003 set list contains a few songs that RA no longer seems interested playing live. Ultimately what you have here is pretty damn cool. Enjoy...

Ryan Adams rocked Ann Arbor

There's nothing like one of his live shows!

On fire: In 2003, Ryan Adams was playing Rock with a different set of Killers.

The Story of the Ryan Adams Killers (in a nutshell)
as told to me by a wandering blind wiseman on a cold dark night...

The year is 2003 and Ryan Adams is touring to support the Rock N Roll album. He has had a great year business-wise but makes one mistake when he elects to name his backing band for the tour "The Killers." This did not rest well with another existing band of "Killers" starring Brandon Flowers. The result was a cease and desist order from their label issued to Mr. Adams. But for several nights on tour - including this remarkable set in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Ryan Adams played with his own Killers. And they kind of rocked really hard. I did a little research to find the band members' names. This show has made the rounds but is worthy of another listen.


Ryan Adams and his Killers were
Ryan Adams (vocals / guitar)
Jamie Candiloro (keyboards / guitar)
Jonathan Flaugher (bass)
Johnny McNabb (guitar)
Brad Rice (guitar / background vocals)
Johnny T (drums)

- The Michigan Theatre -
Ann Arbor, MI - 12/11/03

* Editor's Note: This material should be taken in the proper light of it's context. Ryan Adams is a complicated and accomplished artist. He no longer performs the majority of these songs live - but there is excellent historical importance to the songs performed during this period as they serve as highway markers for the performer. Ryan's continual development is a source of mystery and wonder for his fans.

Ryan Adams: Myspace / Web /
Album Review: Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Whiskeytown News: ! Re-Release of Material

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Music is Child's Play for Medeski Martin & Wood

I didn't set out to review a child-friendly album today, but that's exactly where today's artists leads us. I have been a huge Medeski, Martin and Wood fan for sometime now and that passion only grew with the release of "Out Louder" (Editor's Pick: Highly Recommended) - the project that the trio published in 2006 with legendary guitar talent John Scofield. Well flash forward to last week and the release of Medeski, Martin and Wood's brand new album; "Let's Go Everywhere."


LET'S GO EVERYWHERE - It's a Children's Album palatable for Adults

The album was created, it seems, with the realization that children are young and inexperienced but certainly not simple creatures. Why has the world provided our children with such simple and ridiculous un-engaging songs for kids to listen to? Enter Medeski Martin and Wood: The group settled on the idea of a journey, of travel both literal and figurative. It proved to be a motivating concept. “But we didn’t have much going in,” says Wood. “It was a thread we followed as we improvised, composed and worked through each piece on the spot. We call it ‘spontaneous composition.’” Martin agrees that “we really had very little figured out. maybe a few ideas about a beat or a nursery rhyme we liked, but we went into the studio not knowing what would happen.”

“It was terrifying,” agrees Medeski, laughing. “But that’s how it always is. Our music always comes out of improvisation.” Martin remembers how the ideas bounced around and how “Chris would be in one corner writing lyrics while I worked out the drum parts.” In four days, they managed to lay down the instrumental tracks for all 15 pieces.

Here is the Title Track from the new album. It's a great example of how a children's song, well-crafted and performed, can still capture the hearts and minds of a music-loving adult:

All three band members of the band see Let’s Go Everywhere as an opportunity to play music they like without talking down to kids. “Kids are really quick,” Medeski says. “We don’t need to treat them like idiots.” Wood agrees that “Kids are like sponges. We like to introduce our own kids to a huge range of music, and they love all kinds of sounds.” Martin calls this album “one of my favorite records, one of the best we’ve ever done” and says it brought band members closer together than ever. “It really sparked a new direction for us in many ways.”

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Boston Hip-Hop + Acid Jazz Fusion :: Melodesiac


Tonight is an excellent opportunity to hear what hip-hop and acid jazz sound like when stirred well. Melodesiac is a Boston-area group nine-men strong! What started as a few friends interested in Jazz decided to form a band. Adding as they went along, the members swelled to nine. With the swelling of the band's size, the creativity and varied influences began to evolve the sound into something new and wonderful. What resulted was an one-of-a-kind Boston team - this is Melodesiac. Tonight the group takes the stage at the Middle East downstairs for a CD release party. Even if you can't make the night - take a listen to this and feel the music:



While all nine members of Melodesiac met at Tufts University, the band is made up of individuals from diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds, with members from California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. These personal histories bleed into the music. "Live This Way," the band's ode to the mistakes people make, is rife with middle eastern sounds, while the aptly titled "Latin One" revolves around an Afro-Cuban montuno, with eL moving in and out of Spanish over the beat.

Definitely check this one out tonight (Middle East) if you are in the Boston area! If you can't make it, stop by the band's myspace and find out how you can get your hands on the band's new album. Tell them Ryan sent you!

Myspace / Web

Archie Bronson Outfit :: Where Art Thou?


One of my favorite groups from the last two years is the energetic and enigmatic Archie Bronson Outfit. Their Seventies Throwback style of archaic blues, heavily dominated by drummer Arp Cleveland's technique and the churning, dreamlike song cycle put them into a class all by themselves. Then there is all that screaming and the sex-laden lyrics!! The band has been MIA for way too long. I'm calling them out in the hopes that we get some news very soon! (What the hell, it worked before.)

England's Finest and Artists of the Day:
Domino Records' - The Archie Bronson Outfit

(The beards have grown since this was taken, but the concept's the same.)

2008 marks the potential for a real return to form for this blues-influenced trio of musical madmen. Having release DerdangDerdang in April 2006 to wide acclaim in indie-rockdom, the trio toured extensively and scored a loyal following pretty much everywhere they went. I pray for a new album and tour in '08.

An Amazing Record

The (wild!) RSL Interview
Archie Bronson Outfit Drummer Arp Cleveland

Archie Bronson Outfit
domino page / myspace / web

Friday, January 25, 2008

Robbers on High Street :: CROWN VICTORIA


In 2007, Robbers on High Street released the very good "Grand Animals" album. Certainly worth your time and a great live show - they continue to shine lights into the darkest of corners. Just this week, the band released the video for the "Crown Victoria" track. Check it out and catch them in 2008:

Creativity to Burn - Robbers on High Street



Robbers On High Street - Crown Victoria mp3

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Jan 30 2008

Case Western University

Jan 31 2008
Washington DC
DC9 w/ Zulu Pearls

Feb 2 2008
New York City
The Mercury Lounge w/ Famous Letters + Grand Mal

MGMT's Video for "Time to Pretend" + The Winter Tour


With a brand new album, "Oracular Spectacular" in fine indie rock stores this week, the second leg of MGMT's Winter Tour is now underway. If you recall, MGMT toured briefly in support of Kevin Barnes' Of Montreal - then followed that up with a full length waltz with the Fiery Furnaces. (On December 10th, Great Scott hosted a memorable evening with those two bands along with fellow New Yorkers Michael Goodman and the Mike.)


MGMT is about as hot as it gets right now
photo credit: Kate from The Glorious Hum

In 2008, MGMT embarks on a fresh tour, co-headlining with YeaSayer. They found some time, somewhere, in between their shows and shoveling snow to make a video for the track "Time to Pretend" from the "Oracular Spectacular" album.
Here's the video premiere:



Yeasayer headline

MGMT headline

MGMT headline

MGMT headline

Yeasayer headline

Yeasayer headline

Yeasayer headline

MGMT headline

MGMT headline

Yeasayer headline

MGMT headline

Yeasayer headline

Yeasayer headline

MGMT headline
(reportedly sold out)


Yeasayer headline

More listings on
the MGMT Myspace

MGMT Links:
Myspace / Web
MGMT on FILTER TV (recommended)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Acoustically Speaking - At Critical Mass

Acoustically Speaking
A new resurrected music series celebrating artistry in pubs, studios and practice rooms.
I bring you the best acoustic music in the world - both past and present!

Folk revivalist Sufjan Stevens has tapped into something magical, carving his own niche in modern music. A musical idealist, his songs float in the space between the worlds of folk, modern pop and magic. Perhaps in his "uniqueness" the only one that comes close is Devendra Banhart - and maybe that comparison is unfair to both artists. It's tough to say. One thing that cannot be questioned is the man's skill. Here he deftly takes on this R.E.M. classic in yet another powerful acoustic performance. Behind that is another great performance: "I Can't Even Lift My Head." A wonderful recording.

Jorge Drexler is a tremendously talented singer and guitarist. I actually missed him the last time he appeared in Boston due to illness. The man is probably one of the top ten Latin guitar players in the world right now. What makes him special to me? His style is his own, but he marries music from outside the genre to his own. Such is the case here where Drexler covers Radiohead acoustically. (Don't you love it when I bring it full circle?)

This three-piece band is named for the motorcycle gang that Marlon Brando ran with in the 1953 movie "The Wild One" - BRMC has an impressive lineage. The guitarist and co-vocalist in the band is Peter Hayes (of RSL former favorite and criminally overlooked the Brian Jonestown Massacre.) The BRMC stepped out into their own with the release of the Howl album in 2005 which birthed "Ain't No Easy Way. The song is powerful, gritty and raw. It's great acoustic too. This version was recorded live at KEXP's studios. Impressive.

Founded by Lou Barlow and John Davis in the early Nineties, The Folk Implosion had a smash hit with "Natural One" - which was a prominent place song in the movie Kids. The regular version of the song reached 30th on the pop charts - making the Folk Implosion officially a one-hit wonder. This is the acoustic version of that song. Very choice.

Thom Yorke - photo credit: American Matador

It's Radiohead's world. We just live in it. Well, it seems like that these days. Let's think for a second about Thom Yorke, the somewhat odd and enigmatic singer for the band. He's a hugely talented individual with a tremendous ability to stir the soul. Here we hear Thom tackle, "Follow Me Around." Definitely worth your time!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tapes N Tapes - WALK IT OFF drops in April

File Under: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Five Days Ago, I ran a piece that was somewhat critical of one of my favorite bands for not delivering any news about their album or tour plans in 2008. It was critical - but fairly so, since the good folks of Tapes N Tapes haven't released for more than a year and have been promising us something since October. Here's the piece I wrote.

Yesterday - after months of literally no activity on their webpage and no updates to the public, they finally gave us some tidbits of information and a release date for the new album, "Walk It Off."

I won't take credit for it - I just wanted you to know and here are the details as published:

Something is Cooking with Tapes n Tapes

Tapes' Matt Kretzman

Loon Extract: B-Side from the Cowbell Single
Tapes N Tapes - Cowbell (The Black Eyes Remix)

SECOND RECORD: The much awaited follow-up to "The Loon" will be released by XL Recordings on April 8th. "Walk It Off" will offer fans twelve new tracks (none available for listening or download at this time). Tapes will play the SxSW Music Festival in March and will embark on a national tour in April (no dates or cities yet announced). Having seen them twice, I urge you to stay up to date on all the TnT news - you don't want to miss out!

1. Le Ruse
2. Time of Songs
3. Hang Them All
4. Headshock
5. Conquest
6. Say Back Something
7. Demon Apple
8. Blunt
9. George Michael
10. Anvil
11. Lines
12. The Dirty Dirty

Despite what the headline promises, Frontman Josh Grier speaks to Pitchfork Media on it's news blog - but he doesn't reveal much at all, unfortunately.

Most disappointing is that Grier doesn't bring any new track of Tapes n Tapes music to run with the piece. The Q&A reads pretty much like a press release. The one thing of interest revealed in the interview (which we will hopefully know soon enough) from Grier said he thinks the first single will probably be, "Hang Them All."

If you want the quick and dirty, without the "hard-hitting journalism", you can always just read it on the band's website.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Indie Rock Greatness in 2008!

DATELINE: Austin, Texas + Cannes, France

Right here and now I will make a bold prediction. By the end of 2008, Austin's BLACK and WHITE YEARS will have one of the best records of the year. The band was a relative unknown in their own hometown when it was invited to attend 2007's SxSW Music Music Festival. By the time the festival was over, they had gained a slew of loyal, eager fans who had very little of the band's recorded material to share with friends. All that is about to change...


The Austin indie rock band plays Cannes this month!

The band got a contract and an amazing record producer -- Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads! -- and I introduced them all to you. (Here is my very interesting interview from last March.) The band played the CMJ Music Festival in New York in 2007. Here in 2008 - Things are really starting to blow up for the Black and White Years as they prepare for their first widespread album release - tentatively set for February 12th. In just days, the Black and White Years will play Cannes at the MIDEM Music Festival before an immense music audience. (Only 30 bands world-wide are invited to play this event!)

In March, the band will conclude an absolutely incredible year of growth and achievement with another appearance at South by Southwest in Austin. My Recommendation: Get in on this!

Black and White Years Myspace
Black and White Years Web
Black and White Years :: The RSL Interview
(mp3 download)
Black and White Years at MIDEM 2008 - January 29th

the new album drops on February 12th!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bob Dylan's 2008 Tour of Mexico and South America

Bob Dylan is Headin' South. He will play Mexico and points beyond over the next three months - it's a tour that will start in Mexico City on February 26th and will eventually take him through six countries. He is currently scheduled to wrap up the tour in Uruguay on March 20th - but don't be a bit surprised if additional dates are added if the shows go well. After all, there are no shows booked after the tour and there are some dates in-between would likely be made available if the shows are well attended.

A Tour of Mexico & South America

The Never Ending Tour Continues. Those shows will likely be well attended, Dylan turns 67 year in 2008. Realistically - even with his unprecedented drive, this could be his last stadium tour through Mexico and South America.

Tue 2/26 Mexico City, MEXICO
Fri 2/29 Monterray, MEXICO
Sat 3/2 Guadalajara, MEXICO
Wed 3/5 Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Thur 3/6 Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Sat 3/8 Rio De Janeiro, BRAZIL
Tue 3/11 Santiago, CHILE
Thur 3/13 Cordoba, ARGENTINA
Sat 3/15 Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Tue 3/18 Rosario, ARGENTINA
Thur 3/20 Punta Del Este, URUGUAY

* Editor's Note: None of these songs will likely be played by Bob and his band on tour. I just love 'em and thought they were fitting to announce this new tour. Give a guy a break for creativity's sake. Good luck on tour Bob!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

John Stewart RIP - "I Remember America"


Over the weekend the world of folk music lost pioneer John Stewart, the man whose most famous work was the penning of the song "Daydream Believer" - but greatest accomplishment was influencing more well known musicians through the 1960s. Stewart was a member of the Kingston Trio - performing the group's songs until they officially disbanded in '67. He went on to have an accomplished but commercially quiet career - finally earning some overdue recognition is his later life. Rather than include the sing-song version of Daydream Believer, or his own (more crackled) version - I opted to share one of his later tracks. It demonstrates the level of work he was accomplishing long after he left the spotlight. John Stewart (1939 - 2008).

John Stewart - "I Remember America"

John Stewart Tribute pages:

Wikipedia: John Stewart
Wikipedia: Daydream Believer

Led Zeppelin

Dear Led Zeppelin,
Just wondering how you are. Please play some more shows soon.

Still no "official" word from the powers that be concerning a 2008 Led Zeppelin world tour - but there certainly lots of rumors. (See: The official Zep fan forum for the latest US tour rumors in 2008.) Ian Astbury, the singer for the Cult, also let the bag out of the cat a few weeks ago that his band was opening for Led Zeppelin. I wonder if that hurt his band's chances...? Here are photos and a few words about the reunion show in December.

Robert Plant at the Hyatt Los Angeles in 1975. photo by Peter Simon

Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same
Live in Long Beach,CA - March 11, 1975

So with this song post ... I have gone ahead and republished the really great live Led Zeppelin show recorded in Long Beach, CA in March of 1975. A lot of you downloaded it already, but others still have not. I get a handful of emails each week and I want to help those people out as well. Can't guarantee it will be up for too long since every time I do it results in an unholy assault on my bandwidth limits for the month. I will keep it up as long as I can.

The Link to the Show in its Entirety -
Led Zeppelin live in 1975

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Waiting and Waiting... Tapes n' Tapes in '08

Note to the Band: The fans are waiting.

Minneapolis' Tapes n' Tapes
- indie dynamos brought to the world's attention in '06 - announced last fall that they had recorded enough songs to fill their second album. And still we wait without a release date to mark on the calendar. Don't get me wrong - anticipation can be a good thing! I really look forward to this record. On October 25th 2007, the band announced that they had finished recording their second album, which is still untitled. The new songs were recorded by producer David Fridmann in Cassadaga, New York. (The band produced their own songs for their tremendous debut "The Loon.") Having already have seen the band a few times over the last two years (incredible!) - I can only imagine where the new material is headed! (All together now:) "We want the new material!"

Josh Grier

Jeremy Hanson

photos by Pete Nema

Myspace / Web*

Note to Readers: * the band's webpage looks all but abandoned. It hasn't been updated since November of last year. You may actually get more out of the band's Wikipedia page...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Counting Crows - 2 New Songs - Album in March!

Talk about unexpected news! I was caught completely unaware today when I learned Adam Duritz & Co. were about to release an entirely new album of material (their first collection of new songs in 5 years!) Counting Crows will release "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings" in March. Here - for the very first time are two new tracks!

The New Album:

Release Date: March 25, 2008

The Dirt:
On March 25, Counting Crows will release their fifth studio album (and their first in five years), Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, on Geffen/Interscope.

Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings is just your average brilliant, unsparing rock & roll song cycle about the high life and the low life, about sin and whatever the hell follows. This is an album with two distinct yet deeply related halves:

Saturday Nights -- the album’s angry, electric, dissolute opening salvo -- was produced by Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters.) The more acoustic and folk-influenced Sunday Mornings was produced by Brian Deck whose past credits include Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine.

From the Press Release...

Counting Crows in 2008

For Duritz, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings is “about dissolution and disintegration. It’s about when Saturday night happens and you lose all sense of yourself. And it’s about when you wake up Sunday morning and look back at the wreck you’ve made of your life and you think, 'How can I possibly fix this? How can I ever climb out of this hole?' And then you start to try and climb.

New Development!!! - 2/12/08
Adam Duritz - The RSL Exclusive Interview

Counting Crows:
Web / Myspace

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Acoustically Speaking - Setting Sun

A new resurrected music series celebrating artistry in pubs, studios and practice rooms.
I bring you the best acoustic music in the world - both past and present!

Surf's Up - FIVE SONGS in today's session:

Two firsts here. I have yet to post any of the new Arctic Monkeys tracks. I am still chewing on the new album - and don't get me wrong, it's good. I just can't see the need to plug it. There really isn't any need for any more hype. Now this song, "Bakery" is an as-of-yet unreleased track - yep, SUPER rare. Here is what I do know about the song. It is exceptionally good and scheduled to be released as a "B-Side" for a forthcoming single off the new album. Here are the Arctic Monkeys playing "Bakery" live in the WFNX (Boston) studio.

Doug Marstsh is the vocal stylings behind Built to Spill - the best thing to emerge from Idaho since the potato. Here is a track that demonstrates that his guitar is as memorable as his voice. As with all tracks in this series - Highly Recommended. Go Doug.

A permanent favorite from Adams' Heartbreaker album. It's been raining hard here in Boston for the last couple of days. That's all it takes to put this one back in my mind. My favorite lyric: (obvious in my mind) - Ryan's protagonist in this song loses his hat to a mean-spirited gust of wind which he has personified for our benefit... Listen for it!

Bob Dylan - Spanish Harlem Incident

Oh Bob - you coy dog! You've been doing this for four decades now. This is one of my all-time favorite Dylan tracks from a super-underrated album. It's 1964 and Dylan released this track on "Another Side of" album. The song is about a woman, or is it about a place in the city, or about a point in time? He never really makes it clear, but my money is on the girl. The winner lyrically comes in the third stanza at the end of the song....

"On the cliffs of your wildcat charms I'm riding,
I know I'm 'round you but I don't know where.
You have slayed me, you have made me,
I got to know, babe, will I be touching you
So I can tell if I am really real."

Drive By Truckers - Panties in Your Purse

This was a most untraditional selection - but ultimately; surprises are what this acoustic series is all about. Drive By Truckers are an exceptionally good and criminally underrated group from Athens, GA. This is a song about emotion and doubt. A bit of country twang, some rock spirit and a little acoustic might is just perfect.

Acoustic Sessions 1 - A Fresh Start

Wild Sweet Orange


Sometimes when I hear new music I know right away that things are headed in the right direction for the band. Wild Sweet Orange is just such a group. One listen to "The Whale" - the band's self-released 2007 EP and you can almost see the golden glow of a promising future. Besides showcasing a crisp, clean pop sound - the songs are structured in such a way that you can't help but feel they were written for you on the day you heard them. (As a music lover - I put it like this: the best songs are soundtrack to your life.) Wild Sweet Orange have impressed with their initial EP. Their new video for "Wrestle with God" is amazing. Their sound has earned them the right kind of attention. Their first full length album will be released this year on Canvasback Music (Columbia Records) and a February tour is planned!


The Video for "Wrestle with God"

The video was directed by Don Tyler, the Cleveland-based music video director best known for his combined use of live action and animation. Tyler has also done videos for Foreign Islands, Mason Proper, Mastodon, Ringworm, Midtown and Don the Reader, and recently directed a live-action trailer for an upcoming sequel to the popular video game “Obscure.”


Feb 1 - Greene Street - Greensboro, NC *
Feb 4 - Schuba’s - Chicago, IL *
Feb 5 - Horseshoe - Toronto, ON
Feb 6 - Petite Campus - Montreal, QC
Feb 7 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY *
Feb 8 - North Star - Philadelphia, PA *
Feb 9 - Penn State - State College, PA *
Feb 11 - Schuba’s - Chicago, IL *
Feb 12 - Varsity - Minneapolis, MN **
Feb 13 - Majestic - Madison, WI **
Feb 15 - Blind Pig - Ann Arbor, MI
Feb 16 - Crofoot - Pontiac, MI
Feb 18 - Schuba’s - Chicago, IL ++
Feb 19 - Birdy’s - Indianapolis, IN ++
Feb 20 - Basement - Nashville, TN
Feb 21 - Smiths - Atlanta, GA (BMI showcase)
Feb 22 - 40 Watt - Athens, GA *
Feb 23 - The Social - Orlando, FL

** w/ The Whigs
++ w/ Absentstar

Monday, January 14, 2008



It started with a phone call from Missouri to Michigan. Baseball was originally the subject, but as always, it turned to music. The friendship was forged years ago between Mike Reed and Nathan Ellis when their bands, Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery, toured together. But this was today, and the two decided to start from scratch. The idea was shared with Mike’s former band mates, his brother Ben Reed in Chicago and former SBB drummer Jeff Gensterblum in New York. From there, Able Baker Fox was born.

MP3’s began swirling and soon a marathon practice session in Chicago would result in 11 songs. Able Baker Fox then booked a long weekend with Ed Rose at Black Lodge Recordings, and Voices was made official. What started as a phone call about baseball had turned into something much more. One year from its inception, Able Baker Fox was forging ahead.


Ben Reed - Vocals & Bass (The Great Sea Serpents, Small Brown Bike)
Mike Reed - Vocals & Guitar (LaSalle, Small Brown Bike)
Nathan Ellis - Vocals & Guitar (Jackie Carol, The Casket Lottery, Coalesce)
Jeff Gensterblum - Drums (The Holy Fire, Small Brown Bike)

Able Baker Fox - Twenty Centuries

Myspace / Web

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Delightful Kimya Dawson - Star of the Juno movie soundtrack

The songs sound like a rhyme told by your very own conscience. There's some truth to these words, punctuated by guitar. Between the breaths of air - Kimya Dawson finds a way to pull at your heart strings and capture your attention - casting a bright light on her new project: she's the star of the Juno movie soundtrack. (Here we have another good movie championed by an amazing collection of now songs!) Dawson plays a free show in Boston this Thurdsay.

Juno: An Exceptional Soundtrack:

Kimya Dawson is a former member of the Moldy Peaches - where the group has played a growing role in the talented but oft funny and ironic anti-folk scene. The movement has a prominent foothold in the Juno soundtrack with songs from Dawson (playing solo), and with the Moldy Peaches and Antsy Pants.

The Delightful & Quirky Kimya Dawson

Dawson will be performing at the Juno soundtrack CD release party at Newbury Comics (332 Newbury Street, Boston) on Thursday, January 17 at 7pm. She’ll be performing a sampling of her eight original songs found on the Juno soundtrack; the show is free.

The soundtrack album from Juno also showcases low-fi favorites from The Velvet Underground and Cat Power. The songs play even better when juxtaposed with tall, beautiful traditional anthems from the Kinks and Mott the Hoople. Somewhere in the middle is Barry Louis Pollisar's "All I Want Is You" - a song that plays the perfect cross between the world of anti-folk and pop. It's a wonderful game played out on the album:

It's hard to determine exactly how the movie became so thoroughly entrenched in the anti-folk scene. The artists are amazing and their songs certainly serves the film well. In interviews, the film's star Ellen Page states she was asked by Juno director Jason Reitman about what music her character would listen to. Page reportedly responded "The Moldy Peaches."

Presumably this conversation occurred long before the director had set a direction for the film's soundtrack was set. This would be a remarkable tale, if true. Read more about Kimya Dawson and the Anti-Folk artists (the real stars? of the movie): Reuters - "Juno" soundtrack a boost for little-known singer.

The Juno movie soundtrack E-Card - Test Drive the Album (streaming music)

Kimya Dawson: Myspace / Web
Juno: Official / Myspace

Buy the album:

The Antifolk Movement
(Artists and Scene)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Radiohead :: the 2008 Tour

I admit a growing fascination with Radiohead. I guess I'm not alone.

The band continues to prove that they are leaders of conscience, of industry and creativity these days. They are, relatively speaking, without an equal here in 2008. It is largely for this reason that I have declined to plug the band incessantly. If you need examples: I didn't so much as mention a word about Radiohead's "pay what you will" digital release of their new "In Rainbows" album. The record was two years in the making - time in which the band played those songs (tried them out, really) in front of sold out audiences. (More in this in a minute!) I also declined to mention their legal and rights struggles with EMI (their former record label) which have helped force a new paradigm or music model on the world last year. The result, time and time again, is hype and uber-hype.

Radiohead has gone and done it again. By announcing a 2008 Tour list by city, the band has stirred excitement while not revealing a single venues or an actual date. Interesting. The results can only be good for the band. They can pick and choose their date and venue of choice ("the lion's share" - n'est pas?) Radiohead, again, has turned the industry on its ear.


Photos, Review and Download the mp3s!!!!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ladyhawk - WORLD PREMIERE - Unreleased Music

Vanouver's Ladyhawk (on the Jagjaguwar label) will release a new album in 2008 but it won't be available for several weeks. The "Shots" LP will be released in March in North America and won't have an European release until April 7th. The material is sounding great and I am very hopeful the rest of the album is of equal or greater quality. Here now, for the first time ever - is the brand new single from the "Shots" album. You heard it here first!

World Premiere!

Album Release in March (US) April (UK).

web / myspace

A Special Session on Break Thru Radio !


Its been a while since we checked in with Break Thru Radio and my friend Rachel. On this special post, DJ Rachel and the City spotlights some pretty sensational live performances. Here is a link to listen to TODAY's Radio Blogcast: "2007 - the Best of Live from Hitone."

Click for Rachel's Great Live Playlist

On the Program:
Take Your Medicine - Cloud Cult
Dreamworks - Snowglobe
Places - Georgie James
Me & Mia - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Army Bound - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
The Angel's Share - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Take 'em or Leave 'em - Amy LaVere
Smoke in a Bottle - John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives
Terrible Mistakes - Jump Back Jake
Summertime - Cory Branan
The Backseat - Oh No! Oh My!
Jack's Intro - Jack O. and the Tearjerkers
Lookin' for a Line - River City Tanlines
City Slang - Secret Service

Memphis son Jack Oblivian

Jack O and the Tearjerkers - Jack's Intro

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hot new release :: Made of Bricks

In the UK, the beauty and rising star of singing talent Kate Nash are no secret. Now those of us in the States have another reason to thank England. With the North American release of Kate Nash's debut album: "Made of Bricks," 2008 has its first hot must-have album of the year. Check it out:


A page lifted from Qvest Magazine.... featuring Kate Nash

There are certainly similarities to be drawn here with Lily Allen - last year's spark plug singer from England. Such comparisons are only fair. (The world only produces a dozen truly gifted multi-national debuts each year.) The comparisons continue - but only to a point... Nash's "Made of Bricks" has a playful presentation (just like Allen's "Alright Still,") but the thoughts here are more developed, perhaps just a bit more adult. The albums are similar, yet different animals. I would suggest that you should indulge in Kate's songs - even if you opted to skip on those released by Lily Allen... One might say that Kate Nash's "Made of Bricks" is the right album for right now...

Highly Recommended and Brand New
Kate Nash - Foundations
Kate Nash - We Get On

Kate Nash's Bowery Ballroom gig
(NYC) tonight is sold out.

More Kate Nash:
Web / Myspace / Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Acoustically Speaking - Unplugged in 2008

Sweet Resurrection.... In 2007, I accomplished a lot of great things in these pages. One of the best things I brought to you was my "Acoustically Speaking" Series. It's the best acoustic music from all over the world in one easy to handle package. It was well-received by my readers and one of the most popular series for visitors of all kinds. Sadly, I let the series slide due to work constraints. I vow to soldier in 2008. As a show of good faith, I will sprinkle some of the earlier posts in this series back into the mix. I think you'll agree... That's a good thing!

Acoustically Speaking
A new resurrected music series celebrating artistry in pubs, studios and practice rooms.
I bring you the best acoustic music in the world - both past and present!

Birdmonster is one of the best independent rock bands coming out of southern California these days. That is definitely saying something when you consider the multitude of talent in the area. I caught them live this year on their tour with Michigan's Mason Proper, ( now that's a great line-up!) Here is Birdmonster with an acoustic version of "No Midnight."

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (RIP June 26, 1997) was perhaps one of most accomplished and best known ukulele players in American history. "IZ" as he was most commonly known brought a huge level of notoriety to the instrument by fusing outside music elements (jazz, reggae and pop) into his Hawaiian heritage. Included today is Israel's most famous recording - his version of the classic, "Over the Rainbow."

Fionn Regan - Hunter's Map
2007 Top 40 Artist!
Fionn Regan is a tremendous up and coming Irish performer who is taking the independent music world by storm. His new album, "The End of History" is receiving accolades all over the place and his performances on both side of the Atlantic are selling out. Find out what everyone is all worked up about. Here is my live review of a magical Fionn Regan show I attended (one of the best live shows I witnessed in 2007!) And, here is "Hunter's Map."

There are few musicians I would rather hear live than Jesse Malin. If you are unfamiliar it will likely only take a listen or two and you will be completely won over. The NYC singer-song writer and guitarist is one of my dynamic performers in the US today. The strength of Jesse's 2007 album, "Glitter in the Gutter" are his great songwriting and his unique voice. I saw Jesse play twice in Boston this year. Here is the review of one of those remarkable shows.... And, a live version (Austin, TX - 3.20.04) of "Since You're In Love" a song from Jesse's great second LP,"The Heat."

The Editors are a Birmingham, UK, independent rock group living in the shadow of England's post-punk revival. Having performed all over the world in support of their first release, "The Back Room," the band just released their latest album; "An End Has a Start" (2007). In between, The Editors appeared often, regularly performing new material. In September, the Editors played a truly exceptional show here in Boston. I am providing you with the Editors' amazing cover of R.E.M.'s classic, "Orange Crush."

This cool music series has allowed me to share some music that might otherwise not find its way into people's lives. The talented Graham Coxon is someone who needs to be heard. Coxon is the former guitarist for Blur, but has gone on to do even better solo work. His latest album, "Love Travels at Illegal Speeds" is probably his finest work to date. Here is an acoustic version of "Standing On My Own Again" - a song from that record.

If you haven't read 'em yet:
The 2007 RSL Music Awards
Be My Guest (the takeover!)

Add the RSL to your homepage/feed!